FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Victory! Court declares all Michigan workers can earn minimum wage, paid sick time

Jul 20, 2022

The MI Time to Care coalition has led a successful fight in court on Tuesday, restoring the ability of every Michigan worker to earn paid sick time and raising the minimum wage for tipped and untipped workers.

The MI Time to Care coalition has led a successful fight in court on Tuesday, restoring the ability of every Michigan worker to earn paid sick time and raising the minimum wage for tipped and untipped workers.
Court of Claims Judge Douglas Shapiro ruled that the “adopt and amend” tactic was unconstitutional, reinstating the 2018 ballot initiatives that would allow workers to earn up to 40 hours per year of paid sick time if they work at a business with 10 or fewer employees, while workers at larger businesses can earn up to 72 hours of paid sick time annually.

In addition, if the ruling stands, the minimum wage in Michigan would increase to $12 an hour from $9.87, eliminating the sub-minimum tipped wage of $3.75 an hour. Therefore, tipped workers would also earn the same minimum wage with tips on top.
The MI Time to Care coalition partners – Mothering Justice, Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, CARE In Action, MI Economic Justice, Michigan UnitarianUniversalist Social Justice Network, For Our Future MI Action, Detroit Action, United Way, Blue Green Alliance, Oakland Forward, SIX, Detroit Disability Power, One fair Wage Ballot Steering Committee and the Arc of Michigan – issued the following statements regarding the ruling:

“In 2018 our organization stood shoulder-to-shoulder with others in the fight to get earned paid sick time on the Michigan ballot,” said Eboni Taylor, Michigan Executive Director for Mothering Justice. “The Republican-controlled Legislature took up our proposal only to cut more than half of Michigan workers out of the deal. It was wrong then, which is why we took the issue to court and this ruling is a testament to the hard work of advocates all those years.”

Tia Marie Sanders of the Tia Marie Sanders Foundation, Plaintiff, applauded the court’s decision: “Workers shouldn’t be forced to miss a paycheck just because they are too sick to work.This is about basic human dignity and ensuring that when you are sick, or someone you care for is sick, you can stay home and focus on healing. The court sided with humanity today.”

“This is certainly a day to remember — a complete victory for restaurant workers and all residents of Michigan for their efforts to restore the will of the people. We were wrongly circumvented by a Legislature that was supposed to protect us and prioritize the welfare of workers, and instead suppressed the voices of over 400,000 Michigan residents who signed a petition to increase the minimum wage commencing January 1, 2019. The original proposal would have completely phased out the sub-minimum wage by January 1, 2024,” said Dr. Alicia Renee Farris, acting CEO of ROC United and Chair of Michigan One Fair Wage Ballot Steering Committee. “For Michigan Time to Care coalition members and allies, who have not given up a single day to build power among workers — we owe you a debt of gratitude. Thank you for protecting the integrity of our democracy. You have made history and created a movement for change.”


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About Mothering Justice
Mothering Justice is a grassroots policy advocacy organization that provides mothers of color in America with the resources and tools to use their power to make equitable changes in policy. We are dedicated to improving the quality of life for families in America by empowering mothers of color to take action on American policy on behalf of themselves and their families. Learn more at motheringjustice.org.

About ROC United
Founded in 2008, the Michigan chapter is a large and active chapter of ROC United. We consist of hundreds of restaurant workers, employers and engaged consumers statewide, who are united together to improve working conditions and raise wages in the restaurant industry.
The Michigan chapter, as it reflects the mission and vision of ROC United, aims to advance the interests of restaurant workers by engaging them as leaders in our organizing efforts, connecting them with other restaurant workers, High Road restaurateurs, policy-makers, consumers, voters, and institutions, and expanding and deepening their skills and voices in the industry. Learn more at rocunited.org/michigan.